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Sally Birley’s notes from the public meeting at Dorset County Council:

Dorset Council Climate Emergency Inquiry Day 21.02.2020

This was an opportunity for some of the people who responded to the Dorset Council’s call for ideas to make a five minute presentation to the Climate and Ecological Emergency Executive and to answer questions from the councillors. There were 30 to 40 members of the public observing. 5-600 individuals and organisations had submitted ideas.

  1. Simon Lawson from Shaftesbury. ‘Dorset Power’.

Micro generating from existing water mill sites on the Stour and its tributaries. 18 potential sites, so potential to generate 43 Megawatts per 24 hours. Quick and easy to install (Archimedes screw or vertical mechanism).

Response from the panel was generally positive. Also ‘shouldn’t you be talking to environment agency and landowners?’

  • Peter Emery, Frampton

Suggested a change of speed limit from 60mph to 50 mph throughout Dorset. Fuel economy 10-15%; reduced CO2 emissions; etc… Journey time difference minimal.

Also develop Dorset wide park and ride web; bus(electric), train and cycle improvements; rural park and ride would bring services to villages.

Response from panel: Highways England control speed on main roads. Enforceability and cost? Welcomed ideas of connectivity of transport.

  • Pete West director of Dorset Community Energy (previously worked at the council)

Expressed the scale of the problem and raised problem of financing implementation of a plan. Suggested recruitment of a delivery team of 8 individuals would be needed. Advocated £3 addition to council tax, ring fenced for this purpose. £400,000 from reserve to enable recruitment this May, to be paid back from the council tax increase. Officers would need to work with wider community.

Would need eg planning officer, transport work’ cycle paths, offshore wind farm….

Response positive.

  • Sarah Wise from DEED and from Wimborne War on Waste.

Set up Wimborne as plastic free town. Linked to UN sustainable development goals.

Panel asked questions about reaching adults and difficult businesses. A paper on single use plastics soon to be presented to Cabinet. Difficulty of disposing of S. U. plastic.

  • Simon West from Lyme Regis. One planet working group.

Solar car park proposal. Build solar carports over council carparks. Examples in York. Figures for energy production given.

Homes heated by air source exchange pumps – need electricity.

Panel – positive. Need power from central government to make demands on planning

  • Marnie Thomas, Bridport.

Bridport is Earth protector town.

Ecocide should be recognised as a crime at international criminal court.

Strategy and date for zero carbon?

Beach cleaning – bio beads and nurdles increasing. Requested funding for a nurdle machine.

Suggested council should put pressure on Wessex Water.

  • Colin Tracey, Martinstown

Community project to make Martinstown sustainable. Public meeting to harvest ideas then teams to work on different aspects. To develop relationships with parish and county councils and local church; village website and parish magazine. Ideas include solar panels; pool of electric vehicles for residents’ use; competition in Dorset ‘most green village’; car share app. Example of village in Cheshire – Ashton Heys(?)

Panel positive

  • Louse Parker

Suggested developing community forums eg meeting of community member, parish councillor, land owner. Problems in locality (eg flooding) discussed / addressed

  • Robert Kenward . Biologist. Transition towns Weymouth and Portland. Naturalliance UK . software covers climate change.

Electrolysis of water to produce hydrogen for fuel and domestic heating. Already used by Quenetic(?) and Met police  vehicles.

Panel positive. Southern Gas are looking at how to coat pipes so they can be used for hydrogen.

  1. Pam Roslin. Sustainable

Have produced a ‘Green Living Guide’ (manual as folder and on website). Covers reducing personal carbon footprint, food, transport, energy, waste, water etc. groups and individuals can work through it. Cuts costs and builds communities. 20 groups have adopted/ worked through it. Seeking funding for more folders to be printed.

  1. Lucy -?. Island black bin initiative.

Proposes 4 weekly black bin collection using Portland as pilot project.

Example in Conwy resulted in 31% reduction in black bin waste.

Also reduction in emissions from lorries, etc . suggested education and incentives for children

  1. Peter Henshawe , Sherborne. Dorset Cycling network

Safe routes to schools

Including 20mph limit in towns; change priorities on the roads; pavements to become dual use to include bikes with pedestrian priority

Panel – discussion of shared space in towns

  1. Mr. (Will?) Bond, farmer/landowner, Local Nature Partnership

Suggestions regarding management of planning stipulations where change of use applied for in the countryside eg installation of solar panels.

Land use changes post Brexit – to provide environmental services   

Council advised to have ‘light touch’

  1. Liz Ferioli – Brown

Improving walk to school. Highlighted own walk in St Ives and safety issues along the way. Also school time speed zones. Motivating children/families. Discounts in shoe shops. Comfortable shoes in school. One week (walk to school week) isn’t enough.

  1. Paul Whitehead, driving instructor

Idling vehicles. Some examples given (eg outside schools, etc..) Production of great volume of toxic gases. Council has authority to issue fines £20 minimum. Education. Employ wardens

Trees. Council tree dept should check applications for cutting down trees (in the field) as TPOs are being ignored by eg developers who have ways of avoiding them.

SB Feb 2020